North Cave Wetlands

This Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve, once a quarry, now comprises an attractive open wetland, with both shallow and deep lakes, reedbed, ditches, a wildflower meadow and woodland. There is a peripheral path and four birdwatching hides.

The reserve is a magnet for ducks and waders, gulls and terns. A few pairs of Avocet breed along with Common Terns, Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Redshank and Lapwings, with other waders, such as Ruff and Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers, dropping in on migration. Great Crested and Little Grebes, Gadwall and Tufted Duck are resident. Sand Martins, which breed on adjacent quarries, are numerous in the summer months. The reedbed hosts Sedge and Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings. Raptors such as Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Hobby and Merlin can sometimes be seen hunting on the reserve.

The wetland is also good for dragonflies and damselflies, and Water Vole is present, while several species of bat have been recorded. The meadow between two of the lakes is the place to look for butterflies, including Small Skipper, Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, Comma and Brown Argus, with a colony of the latter established here. Cowslips, Bugle and Pyramidal and Bee Orchids can be seen on the reserve along with many other species of flowering plant.

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